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  1. Paitich, Lindsey BSN, RN
  2. Luedemann, Chris MD, BSN, RN
  3. Giel, Judy RRT
  4. Maynard, Roy MD, FAAP


Despite an increasing demand for pediatric home care nursing, there is no comprehensive or universal standard of care for prescribing pediatric home care nursing hours based on a child's medical complexity. Adoption of a qualification tool (QT) to allocate home care nursing hours based on the medical complexity of a child may mitigate inequality in access to care and improve the patient and family experience. A QT, developed in Minnesota, recommends home care nursing hours based on the level of medical complexity and need for skilled nursing interventions. Four hypothetical case studies demonstrate the use of the QT to calculate recommended nursing hours. To validate the tool, a survey of discharge planners found a percentage difference in calculated hours of 4.1, 5.7, 11.2, and 24.9 in the four case studies. Discharge planners rated the usability of the QT as favorable with a score of 3.6 on a Likert scale of 5. The recommended nursing hours prescribed for families, based on the QT, was perceived as meeting the needs of the child by 56% and 42% of surveyed parents and home care nurses (HCNs), respectively. The need for additional nursing hours was expressed by 33% and 50% of parents and nurses, respectively. In general, HCNs' assessment of allocated nursing hours paralleled that of parents. Further refinement and adoption of a standardized QT to allocate home care nursing hours may improve access and outcomes for children requiring home care nursing.